Super Wrestling: AEW – Revolution

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Revolution and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan

Welcome one and all to the most exciting event of the year (at least if you’re an AEW fan) as it’s finally time for their biggest PPV to date!  A stacked card full of memorable bouts between bitter rivals, hated enemies, and whatever you’d call Orange Cassidy!  Will it be a glorious event worthy of its lofty title, or will this be an uninspired slog of a show?  Let’s find out!!

So first off, I had no idea what was going on with the pre-show. I didn’t see anything on BR Live other than the Countdown show which was on TNT Wednesday, and for the life of me I couldn’t find confirmation online that they were starting any earlier than 8pm.  Sure enough though, they had a match BEFORE the Revolution PPV, and so I had to catch up on it AFTER the fact when they posted it to YouTube.  Let’s hope they don’t make it THIS hard to find their matches in the future, but could it be because they knew the match was going to be bad and were trying to hide it from us!?

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The Dark Order (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson) Vs. SCU (Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky)

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The Dark Order is accompanied to the ring by The Creepers

Before the match begins we get an interview with Christopher Daniels promo-ing his heart out about The Dark Order’s empty promises and SCU’s in-ring superiority, which makes it all the more heartbreaking that Kazarian and Scorpio Sky ask Daniels to stay in the back and not be with them ringside.  The implication seems to be that they think Daniels might be a wolf in sheep’s clothing and really IS the Exalted One, but I’m not sure what sending him to the back is gonna do.  Frankly if he IS going to betray them it’d hardly matter if he was outside the ring already or had to run out from the back, but in any case Daniels agrees and looks very sad as the rest of SCU goes out for their match.  See, this is why I can’t understand why people think The Dark Order is hopeless.  I was SO negative about them in those initial PPVs, but they’ve done such a good job at playing mind games on the other wrestlers that even if they aren’t the MOST successful heel group out there, they’re still genuinely contributing to the drama of these matches.  This by the way is also the first Dark Order match that Evil Uno and Stu Grayson themselves are participating in in I don’t even know how long, so now that we’ve got our BIG NAME members out there, I do feel like they REALLY need to win here because the one thing I will definitely agree with people on is that The Dark Order come off like losers in the ring and they could use a few victories to make their menace that much more legitimate as well as their offers to other wrestlers more enticing.

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“Hey, Creeper Number Two; does any of this seem silly to you?”     “Why do you say that, Creeper Number One?”     “I don’t know, just the whole CLAW thing seems a bit silly is all.”

Now I’m a guy who really likes it when a story is being told in a match, and they’ve got a fairly decent one here.  SCU definitely has the advantage as far as raw talent and skill, but The Dark Order are no slouches and they are MUCH better at needling their opponents than SCU are.  Very straightforward Heel/Face setup (including The Dark Order straight up cheating when the ref’s back is turned), but it works and The Dark Order feel like legitimate competitors.  Stu Grayson brings the power and the hard hits, while Evil Uno is actually quite sly and astute in the ring; managing to avoid taking the brunt of damage until things start heating up towards the end of the match.  It boils down into a really solid slugfest between all four competitors, but The Dark Order have their creepers on the outside to run interference, and while Scorpio Sky has to punch them off the apron Stu Grayson gets a chance to recover.  Fortunately Sky manages to dodge Grayson’s move and rolls him up for the pin, but then Evil Uno like a bat out of hell runs in from the outside and bashes Sky in the back of the head to break the pin which Grayson immediately rolls into a pin of his own for the win!  The Dark Order FINALLY has their first major victory at AEW!

Like any good match with a group of bad guys however, it doesn’t end with the bell and so The Dark Order along with the creepers start to pound Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian in the ring.  Then someone’s music hits and some dude named… Colt Cabana?  Yeah, I don’t know who that is, BUT he comes down to make the save for SCU so I ASSUME he’s a good guy?  The victory is short lived however as The Creepers pound him into the dirt as well, and then the music hits AGAIN as a mysterious figure shrouded in a robe starts to walk down to the ring!  IS THIS THE EXALTED ONE!?  The mystery figure sheds his cloak to reveal… CHRISTOPHER DANIELS!!  Say WHAT!?

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WHAT A TWIST!!

No, it’s just a fake out which admittedly is right in Christopher Daniels’s wheelhouse, and he jumps The Dark Order in the ring which gives the good guys just enough firepower to stop the assault and expel them from the ring.  It was a solid match and I understand why they wanted to do this first on the pre-show as it’s definitely the one with the campiest gimmicks to it, but I’m disappointed that The Exalted One didn’t make an appearance, and that beat down at the end somewhat undercut the crucial win that The Dark Order got in this match.  Let’s hope they build on this in the next episode of Dynamite, and let’s get started with the PPV itself!

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Dustin Rhodes Vs. Jake Hager

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Dustin has gotten quite the second wind to his career in AEW and I really like his portrayal of an Old Timer wrestler; someone who’s still got it but leans into his limitations without trying to paper over them, and always puts on a great show.  He’s old school to be sure, but in the best ways that we WANT to remember rather than trying to burying the newer talent for cheap pops (*cough* Super Show Down *cough*).  So how’s his match at this show?  Right off the bat, it starts in with some great action as Dustin may not have the strength of Hager but clearly has the experience over him and so manages to run away with this for the first few minutes; attacking his arm as vengeance for breaking his a few months back!  However, as soon as Dustin’s momentum is stopped by a vicious clothesline from Hager, things just kind of ground to a halt as Hager seems to have no greater ambition than to lackadaisically do submission holds and the occasional kick while Dustin is on the ground for a VERY long time.

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“What do you say, Dustin?  Do you submit?”     “No, but can you get me a magazine or something?  I think he’s gonna be at this for a while.”

I cannot help but think that taking the match down this many notches is to compensate for something; either Dustin who gassed out really early, or Hager who is too rusty for extended in-ring work.  The guy is getting booed nonstop, so at least the crowd is staying in this, but that’s all that’s going on here; Dustin gets grounded, Hager gets booed, Dustin tries a punch, and then gets grounded again.  Rinse and repeat for about six minutes.  That’s not the worst of it though.  I’d be fine with a slower paced match if it made Dustin look good and Hager despicable, but towards the end of this match there was a REALLY uncomfortable spot where Hager’s girlfriend is in the crowd and Dustin forcibly kisses her.  See, that’s the kind of old school stuff that you DON’T want coming back (it’s played like a comedy spot from both him and Hager’s girlfriend), and yet here it is in 2020 in the promotion that REALLY should know better.  There were some good bumps and Dustin had his moments to shine, but it just kind of petered out with Hager knocking Dustin unconscious with a sleeper hold to put this one to bed.  Not a great way to start off the show, but we’ve still got a stacked card ahead of us.

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Darby Allin Vs. Sammy Guevara

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It’s hard to argue that week in and week out Sammy and Darby are the hardest working and most beloved younger stars at the company, and their feud over the last month or so has been a solid build up to the grudge match.  However, perhaps it was TOO good of a buildup because one thing that just doesn’t work for me is when two wrestlers start fighting for a LONG time before the bell rings and they go for at least what, FIVE MINUTES before the match is official?  I understand two guys hating each other so much that they can’t wait to start the fight, but it just feels kind of pointless to me if it goes on for more than like twenty seconds.  I prefer the situation where two guys stare each other down and explode out of their corners once the bell rings, which not only is a great visual, but also makes it feel like the match itself and the rules in place are important.  When you just keep bashing each other regardless of what the ref is saying, it kind of renders the pin fall moot to what they’re ultimately after, but that’s just me.  The match itself (including the pre-match scuffle) is pretty excellent with these two pulling off some excellent moves that I REALLY hope aren’t causing permanent damage because if these two can make it to thirty they are going to be some of the biggest names in wrestling!  Darby misses a Suicide Dive early on and it looks like he bashes his head into the guardrail so I hope he’s okay, and Sammy supposedly had an ankle injury that he was dealing with which either healed up or he’s just not letting the pain show as he does this ridiculous flip off the top rope onto Allin on a table outside of the ring.

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“I remember it like it was yesterday.”     “It was only twenty seconds ago.”     “Oh, so THAT’S why I can’t feel my legs!”

Sammy’s plan is to land big moves and to target Allin’s still sore throat (Sammy shoved a Skateboard into it about a month ago) while Darby’s tactic is to try and hurt Sammy as much as possible with some brutal looking submission holds and ridiculous flippy moves.  Seriously The Canadian Destroyer STILL looks like magic to me!  I don’t know how someone can pull it off without being an actual wizard!  Sammy get a nearfall on Darby after throwing him off the top rope (a move that starts an A-E-DUB chant in the crowd) and because of that he has to step up his game by removing the pad from one of the turnbuckles and trying to shove Allin face first into it.  Allin resists however and manages to get SAMMY to land on it throat first which he THEN follows up with a ridiculous looking Stunner and a Coffin Drop.  Darby pins whatever is left on the mat, and the crowd goes ABSOLUTELY wild!

Allin is not done however and grabs his skateboard to beat Sammy with, but at the last second Jake Hager comes out and drags Sammy to the back!  See?  The lesson of the day is it’s good to have friends!  Yeah, this was an amazing match for these two and the crowd absolutely loved it.  It’s so good that it almost makes up for the really disappointing Dustin and Hager match and will hopefully be just another stepping stone in their long and illustrious careers; assuming of course they don’t try to throw themselves off of tall buildings or fight a tank or something which I’m SURE has crossed both of their foolish minds at one point!

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The Young Bucks Vs. Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page – AEW World Tag Team Championship

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AEW has found something they didn’t quite expect with Hangman Adam Page as their plans to turn him heel had to be reworked when everyone started LIKED him for drinking all the time and being a bit of an anti-social jerk.  The plan might have been original for The Bucks to finally get their belt and for a feud to start up between Page and Omega, but those might have been drastically changed and chances are we are going to see them retain the title on this show.  As the match starts, both teams try to keep it respectful; at least everyone except Page.  It seems clear that The Bucks are outmatching both guys in terms of tag team prowess which is putting Page on edge and when Matt tries to offers his hand to Page in the spirit of friendly competition (which admittedly is coming off as a bit condescending) Page spits right in his face.  At THAT point, the game is on!  The Bucks start to run wild on Page who is just getting the tar beat out of him and Kenny is even getting a bit of that blow back despite still trying to be peacekeeper.  This is a BRILLIANTLY told story in the ring that is very different from your typical heel/face angle, because honestly neither one of the teams are strictly one or the other.  Page is the one who’s acting the most hostile, but it’s not like he doesn’t have a REASON to with the belts on the line, and Kenny’s attempts to not go in too hard or fully back up Page when the Bucks start to unleash on him is not being received well from the crowd.  Page may be a jerk and is even going for Matt’s bad back but he knows where he stands, while Kenny is split between his friends who they WON’T win against if he doesn’t put his all into, and Adam Page who’s his tag partner but has no problem fracturing The Elite to keep his belt.  And that’s just the psychology on display!  That’s not even getting into how freaking AMAZING both teams are inside the ropes, and while I’m normally not the biggest fan of Young Buck spot fests, their dynamic here as the pros against the struggling singles competitors is perfect and the crowd cannot get enough of ANY of them!

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I call that one, The Leaning Tower… OF PAIN!!

If there’s one thing that I can KIND of ding the match for, it’s the length which is a bit long.  The match goes up and down with hot tags followed by cooling off periods over and over again which certainly means we get more awesome in-ring action, but the story starts to lose a bit of its impact when things are dragged out a bit to show off a few more spots.  The turning point for me in the match when it went from really great back to FREAKING AMAZING was when The Bucks started to realize that they may not be able to take these guys down clean so they start to incorporate more underhanded and heelish tactics to keep the two from working together.  Probably the worst of it was when they did a Meltzer Driver on Adam Page OUT ON THE RAMP which knocked him out cold for about five minutes of the match; leaving Kenny all alone to fend them both off by himself.  They try Super Kicks, they use Kenny’s own V-Trigger against him, they even start tearing off the tape on his shoulder just to try and put him down, but Kenny is not about to give up just yet!  Why, they’d have to go so far as to do a Meltzer Driver on him to end the match!  Oh, they’re gonna do that?  Okay then.  NO WAIT!  Page has gotten back up and throws Nick through a table before he can do the move!  This sets up Matt for a V-Trigger Buckshot with Kenny going for the cover… BUT NO!  ONLY TWO!!  Adam Page tries to do his own One Winged Angel on Matt and get him in the pin, but then Nick comes back and shoves Adam Page over to break the pin!!  WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BRING THIS MATCH TO A CLOSE!?  Oh, a Buckshot Lariat on Matt Jackson?  Well okay then!  I mean it seems a bit basic after everything else they threw at each other, but I guess it was the last straw for Matt and in any case the ending is still VERY satisfying with Kenny and Page retaining the titles after a hellacious pain clinic from The Young Bucks.

After the match is over, The Bucks shake hands with Kenny which I was surprised about as I figured they were gonna go full heel after this loss, but instead they’re taking it like adults and are trying to maintain the peace.  The one who isn’t going for all that though is Adam Page (big shocker there), and there’s even a moment where he contemplates knocking out Kenny with a Buckshot Lariat, but decides against it and just holds the ropes open for him.  A storyline for another day I suppose.  This was a SPECTACULAR match and even with a card THIS good it’s going to be hard for anything to top it!

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Kris Statlander Vs. Nyla Rose – AEW Women’s World Championship

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So you have this AMAZING and incredibly long Tag Team Match with the most recognizable names at your company and yet there’s still half a show to go.  How exactly do you follow that up?  Well the answer for this show is not very well because the match, while perfectly servicable, is not quite up to the level of a PPV match and was dead in the water for the fans who were still recovering from the last one.  Both these wrestlers come off as green which is kind of troubling since both have been wrestling for years now, but the fact is that their moves come off as a bit sloppy and the pacing is a bit wonky with awkward pauses here and there.  They’re both GREAT presences in the ring and their entrances were fantastic, but after seeing Kenny, Page, and The Bucks tear up that ring just a few minutes before, it’s a bit too clear just how wide the gap is.  Fortunately the match has one thing going for it and that’s Bryce Remsburg as the ref who is possibly the most animated and theatrical ref I’ve ever seen!  Dude makes a ten count look like a the most important thing to ever happen in the sport of wrestling, and he added a lot of energy to the proceedings.

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GET THIS MAN ON BROADWAY!!

The match does pick up towards the end as Kris Statlander gets some momentum on Nyla with a few Suicide Dives who now has to step up HER game if she wants to retain her championship.  Until now she’s been basically toying with her playing this match as a cocky heel, but whe nthe threat of losing becomes real, well she’s not about to take that lightly!  They trade some more blows, Nyla gets a Beast Bomb on Statlander whiole she somehow throws Nyla off the top rope, but eventually Statlander makes a fatal mistake by trying to do a Hurricanrana on Nyla from the top.  She fails to pull her down but is now in PERFECT position for Nyla to utterly DESTROY her with a jump from the top that basically folds Statlander in half like a folding chair and leads to the pin.  Like I said, the match wasn’t BAD but feels out of place on such a stacked show.  It’s not the worst so far baffled by that Dustin and Hagar match, but this wasn’t that much better.

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Cody Vs. MJF

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Cody is accompanied to the ring by Arn Anderson and Brandi Rhodes while MJF is accompanied by Wardlow

This is by far the most built up match of the entire evening, even more so than the main event, and boy have they done a good job with it!  Full Gear was MONTHS ago and Cody’s been chasing MJF ever since in a smart and exciting way; not by being the geek always one step behind him, but by overcoming whatever half thought out challenge MJF was gonna throw at him.  The whipping?  Done!  The cage match?  Easy!  Don’t touch him for a few weeks?  No problem!  I do have one issue with this story however, but we’ll get to that soon enough because there’s something else that requires my attention first.  Cody comes out after MJF and has a live band performing his theme song… that isn’t doing a particular great job of playing it.  Cody’s theme is pretty silly on its own with some absurd try hard lyrics, but it’s got a great sound to it that works great for a ring entrance; less so to actually see someone perform.

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“THANK YOU CHICAGO!  CAN SOMEONE GIVE US A RIDE HOME!?”     “WE’LL ALSO TAKE BUS FARE!  WOO!!”

Aside from that though, things couldn’t be hotter for this match!  Cody and MJF are staring each other down, the bell rings, and Cody blasts forward like a missile with right hook to MJF!!  MJF just barely manages to dodge it, and then rolls out of the ring for a few minutes which now means we can to my issue with the buildup to this match.  After everything that’s happened since the match at Full Gear, MJF still doesn’t want the fight.  In fact, he’s done everything in his power to avoid this match with his wild stipulations and there hasn’t been indication throughout this entire feud (not even when The Bucks tossed him in the water or when Arn smacked him with the cage door) that any of this has gotten mad enough to change his mind about getting in the ring.  It makes for good heat as the crowd absolutely DETESTS this guy with chants of coward throughout the arena, but it also means that this doesn’t feel like a true blow-off as only one of them has any particular investment in the outcome of this match.  The match does eventually pick up though when MJF is browbeaten into getting in the ring, and there are some spectacular moments of the guy getting utterly wrecked.  My favorite is when Cody runs to the back for seemingly no reason, only to come sprinting back out at full speed to give MJF a clothesline that nearly took his head off!  Now THAT must have been cathartic!  Another great moment is when Wardlow starts pulling some nonsense on behalf of MJF and so Brandi comes up with this elaborate scheme to throw beer in Wardlow’s face which makes him chase her, and then Cody straight up T-Bones him through the middle ropes!  The match eventually starts to even out as MJF gets some offense in on Cody after targeting his injured foot, but then MJF starts gushing like a faucet and tries to use everything in his power to overcome Cody; even going so far as to beg for his life in a move that got some very loud boos from the audience and some great cheap shots from the announcers.

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“IT WASN’T ME!  IT WAS THE ONE ARMED MAN!!”

All of this is great, but we’re gonna jump ahead to the ending which was a bit of a letdown.  At some point MJF pulls his diamond ring out of his trunks and bashes Cody over the head with it; knocking him out and getting the pin.  This is not ideal for a few reasons, least of which that Cody doesn’t look good at this ending.  Sure he lost due to MJF cheating, but a face as well beloved and over with the audience as Cody frankly should have seen it coming, and it makes him look a bit foolish.  Worse still, there was a spot earlier in the match where Cody whips MJF with his weight belt, and the ref EXPLICITLY allows him to get one more in before telling Cody to get rid of it, so now you can’t even say that MJF had an unfair advantage since Cody ALSO used a weapon in this match!  I believe it was Bryan Alvarez who suggested an ending to this match that I still think would have been perfect for this match.  Have Cody get the ring, bean MJF over the head with it in plain view of the ref, and get disqualified for it.  MJF technically wins the match, but being attacked in such a humiliating way is exactly what MJF needed to get invested in a rematch where they both would have been out for blood and the stakes would be that much higher.  Plus, it makes Cody look like a badass, especially if he raises the hand on the unconscious body of MJF after losing the match.  With the ending here I don’t know where the feud goes or how they’re going to build it back up and that’s frankly disappointing, but the match itself outside of what it means for future shows, was very well done as everyone involve played their parts perfect.  Cody and MJF are great in the ring, Wardlow is scary on the outside, and Brandi and Arn Anderson are the best support team that Cody could ask for.  I trust that they’ll eventually find a way to make this ending work, but until then I’m feeling a bit cold about it.

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Pac Vs. Orange Cassidy

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Orange Cassidy is accompanied to the ring by Best Friends

This is by far the least built up match of this entire PPV since it was literally announced three days prior with barely a word between the two, and yet this is STILL one of the matches I am most excited for!  Pac is ALWAYS a safe bet for a great match (just check out that Iron Man match he had with Omega on Wednesday’s Dynamite) and Orange Cassidy has been a fan favorite since the beginning so seeing him finally get in the ring in earnest is an enticing prospect!  The match starts of perfectly with Cassidy doing his usual shtick (hands in pockets, light kicks, etc) and the crowd is eating it up faster than any other match on the card.  Seriously, I don’t think the audience was as excited for Cody as they were to see this dude simply stand in the ring, and Pac is great as the straight man to this comedy duo.  What I wasn’t exactly expecting though was that right off the bat Cassidy comes off like a SERIOUS fighter.  Pac is like the biggest scariest dude in this place, and yet Cassidy manages to get a few impressive moves over him without even breaking a sweat; much to the consternation of Pac who wasn’t ready to fight someone who’d ACTUALLY fight back!

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“WHAT ARE YOU!?”     “I am the thing you fear most.  The one thing you cannot overcome!  I!  AM!  FRESHLY SQUEEZED!!”     “Wait, what?”     *PUNCH*

As great as that is though, the match kind of grinds to a halt as Pac starts going on the offensive and it’s a lot like the Dustin match; too much writhing on the floor from Orange and too languid a pace for Pac.  I don’t mind that Orange is getting beat up here as I don’t expect him to be unflappable at all times, but they started this off on such a high note that I don’t see why it slowed down so much.  The one bright spot of this beat down though is when Cassidy comes up with the most brilliant wrestling maneuver known to mankind; one that the crowd starts cheering for as soon as he comes up with it!  Pac is on the top rope… and he rolls out of the ring.  Pac puts him back in the ring, goes to the top rope… and he rolls out again!  Seriously, why don’t more wrestlers do this!?  I know it’s one of those unwritten rule things that makes high flying maneuvers possible in the first place, but it’s such an effective move and is no doubt ticking off Pac who just wants to put this guy away.

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“A BARREL ROLL!?  WHAT SORCERY IS THIS!?”

The utter genius of this maneuver fills Cassidy with so much strength that he shoots back up, Suicide Dives Pac, and nearly puts him away with a jump from the top rope.  He even gives Pac a straight up Superman Punch, but none of it is enough to put Pac down for the count!  Then OUT OF NOWHERE, The Lucha Bros come down to the ring and start attacking The Best Friends!  WHAT!?

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“CRAP!  CRAP!  CRAP!!  WE OVERSLEPT!!”

You know what?  I’m not even gonna question it!  The Lucha Bros are SO good that I’m glad to see them even if it’s just a cameo here!  The distraction however is enough for Pac to get behind Cassidy and put him in The Brutalizer which Cassidy taps out to immediately; giving Pac the win!  There’s a REALLY great match in here, but the middle just kind of sags too much which is kind of a running theme of this show, so maybe they need to pace out their PPV matches better or I just don’t have the patience necessary to enjoy them.  In any case, I had a lot of fun with this one and I hope to see more of Orange Cassidy in the ring because that dude is a BEAST waiting to be unleashed!

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Jon Moxley Vs. Chris Jericho – AEW World Championship

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Chris Jericho is accompanied to the ring by Proud N Powerful

Now as you know, Moxley always comes into the ring from the crowd, but that wasn’t enough for the PPV!  No, for THIS show he had to start OUTSIDE of the stadium and we watch as he goes through the door, through concessions, and THEN through the crowd to show just how big this match is!  Moxley is still sporting that eye patch by the way, so I’m gonna keep calling him Dread Pirate Mox if it’s all the same to you.  After that we get Jericho’s entrance which is… a bit odd.  So one of the things that has started happening whenever he shows up is that the crowd will sing the lyrics to his theme song as it plays.  They decided to lean into this, and got a chorus to come out and sing his ENTIRE song live before he comes out to the ring which… I don’t know, doesn’t that seem more like a Face move?  The chorus is all wearing nice dresses and suits and the rendition is nice and poppy which is not exactly the tone you want to set for the BAD GUY coming through the door, right?  Well in any case, this is the Main Event of the show with the most PRESTIGIOUS belt on the line, so does it live up to the hype?  IT DOES!!  It’s not only a really solid bout between these two guys, it doesn’t have the laggy pace issue that’s affected many of the other matches in this show!  It’s solidly back and forth between the two, and even when Jericho gets the advantage over Dread Pirate Mox he doesn’t go at it slowly with holds on the grounds; he makes Moxley HURT!  He’s throwing him into tables, he’s making him bleed, heck, there’s a spot where he throws Dread Pirate Mox into the turnbuckle and it looks like it caved his freaking rib cage in!  Now that’s not to say that it’s all blood and guts or that that’s what I want out of a match (check out my recap of the Omega Vs. Moxley match at Full Gear), but the reason this works here is because there’s variety, and there’s momentum.  On top of tearing Dread Pirate Mox to pieces, he taunts the crowd, works out moves with Proud N Powerful, and even gets in Ref Aubrey’s face; daring her to disqualify him and therefore letting him keep his title.  The only thing that didn’t exactly work for me in this match was the blood on Dread Pirate Mox.  I couldn’t really tell, but it LOOKED like fake blood to me.  It seemed to be seeping in from under his eye patch which makes me think he had some sort of blood packet under there, but even if it was real it didn’t feel necessary.  Cody bleeding in the cage match a few weeks ago and MJF bleeding here felt like it added something to proceedings, but this just felt unnecessary.

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“I knew I shouldn’t have kept that cheeseburger under my eye patch…”

At some point Dread Pirate Mox gets the advantage back again and so Jake Hager comes running down the ramp to clock Moxley in the head which Aubrey sees and boots him as well as Proud N Powerful out from ringside in the most breathtaking fashion imaginable!  She does it with such force that Proud N Powerful sell it like it’s a literal hit and flop off the apron while Jake Hager looks absolutely stunned; like he just got punched so hard his heart is about to explode out of his chest!

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“That’s it buddy!  YOU’RE OUTTA HERE!!”     “PLEASE NO!  HAVE MERCY!!”     “THERE IS NO MERCY IN MY RING!!”

However!  While she’s dealing with these three man-babies, Sammy comes out of NOWHERE, grabs the belt, and SMASHES Dread Pirate Mox over the head with it behind Aubrey’s back!  See, now THAT’S why the Inner Circle is so successful; they’ve got each other’s backs!  Dread Pirate Mox however has no one watching his, and so as soon as he manages to get back up Jericho pounces and scratches out his one good eye; leaving him to blindly stumble around and swing wildly in the hopes that Jericho just so happened to be standing right in front of him.  BUT WAIT!  When Jericho gets nice and close feeling overly confident about his victory, Dread Pirate Mox grabs him and does the fastest Paradigm Shift I’ve ever seen!  SURPRISE!  Dread Pirate Mox is ACTUALLY regular old Jon Moxley because he can SEE OUT OF BOTH EYES!!  With Jericho now softened up after that Paradigm Shift, he lands ANOTHER Paradigm shift and gets the pin!  Jon Moxley is your new AEW World Champion!

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This one’s for you, Vince!  Enjoy booking a yet another Roman Reigns match on Mania!

That was an EXCELLENT match and a great way to end the show!  I still think the Tag Team Match for all its flabbiness is a TINY bit better, but the margin here is razor thin, and I’m glad that we got such a good match out of Moxley and Jericho considering how long they’ve been building it up.  Where do we go from here?  I’m not sure as I’m curious to see if Moxley can not only provide great matches but also have the charisma that Chris Jericho brought to the title picture as well as the ratings bump that always came with his segments.  Chances are The Inner Circle isn’t done with Moxley yet, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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For the most part, this was a great PPV with awesome matches like the Tag Team match, the Main Event, and even the Darby Allin Vs Sammy Guevara match earlier in the show to carry this.  There were certainly a few low points like Dustin’s match and the Women’s Title match, but even at its worst it’s still about as good as Dynamite which is already pretty excellent!  I’m curious where some of these stories go after this PPV though as I’m not sure where you take Cody after losing to MJF, The Dark Order having yet to reveal an Exalted One, and Jon Moxley now carrying the company on his shoulders, but it’ll be an interesting journey finding out.

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